Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2015

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Page 13 of 181

2 Corinthians 5:17 … "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" George Schmok Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Stephen Kelly Editor Michelle Medaris Education Larry Shield Product Editor Alli Martin Editorial Administrative Assistant Associate Editors Ashley Calabria Associate Editor/Digital Information University of Georgia Buck Abbey, ASLA Associate Editor: Ordinances Green Laws Org. Russ Adsit, FASLA Associate Editor/Erosion Executive Director, IECA Janet Lennox Moyer, IALD Associate Editor/Lighting (In Memoriam) Don Roberts, FASLA Kay Tiller Frank Manwarren David Brian Linstrum Lois E. Schmok Otto Edward Schmok Art Director Nicole Miller Graphic Designer Matthew Medeiros Ad Coordinator Oliver Calonzo Circulation / Fulfillment Edward Cook Likkien Ralpho Ana Linares Kosol Chim IT Department Web / Tech Manager Jerry Short Web / Graphics Assistant Sam Roe Chief Operations Officer C.O.O. Mark O'Halloran Sales Administration Cynthia McCarthy Advertising/Marketing 714-979-LASN (5276) x113 • 714-979-3543 (Fax) Print Advertising Sales Vince Chavira Matt Henderson Kip Ongstad Digital Marketing Nathan Schmok Trade Show Sales Jared Lutz Cass D'Arlon Event Production Amy Deane Inventory/Fullfilments Javier Miranda c o m m e n t a r y 14 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Find Us Online: At least I think it will be by the time you actually get to read this. However, that may very well depend on where you are in this great nation. Out here in the West, with the much anticipated, and even more hoped for El Niño deciding to not show up, we are bracing for water restrictions, while everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Mississippi is either still under a blanket of snow or now hoping everything doesn't melt so fast as to bring about massive flooding. Heck . . . This past winter there was even snow in Birmingham, Dallas and in Southern California. I guess that's why they shifted from calling it global warming to now calling it climate change. I wonder which political party Mother Nature belongs to? It is becoming so hard to tell whether we are warming, cooling or staying the same that we may have to stop relying on CNN and MSNBC for our climate news and start relying on our own lying eyes. That said, what I know for sure is that water, in all of its forms, is a force that needs to be reckoned with. While those along the Mississippi, the Northeast and throughout the Midwest will be bracing for flooding, in the Southwest and central South (meaning in and around Texas) water will be a commodity short on supply and long on demand. A few years ago I mentioned the nation needed to be plumbed. That sure went over well . . . Not! I did receive a bunch of comments that we, in the dry states, were being irresponsible and should leave others' water alone. Funny, no one suggested that we should keep all of our fruits and vegetables in the arid West. Nebraska is the nation's third largest corn producer (behind Iowa and Illinois and just ahead of Minnesota), while Kansas is the nation's largest producer of wheat. These states are being irrigated in large part with water from the Ogallala Aquifer that sits under Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. According to the Washington Post, "as a result, the aquifer is slowly getting depleted, with the water table dropping by as much as two feet per year in some counties. And once they drain, it could take hundreds or thousands of years for those ancient aquifers, which were first formed millions of years ago, to fully recharge with rainfall." And just because they aren't in the top two or three, don't forget Texas, Oklahoma and eastern Colorado. These are all dry Midwestern states that supply food to the masses. Then there are the arid lands of California. According to Bloomberg, California is now the nation's top dairy producer and grows half the country's fruits, vegetables and nuts. reports that, "California is considered our nation's agricultural powerhouse, yielding a third of all produce grown in the U.S." However, right now field after field lie dry and untilled throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Yet when you ask people in water rich states or along flourishing rivers if they'd be willing to divert some of their water to the West . . . Gasp! Choke! Horror! No way!!! Believe me when I say that I am absolutely for a smaller government. Groups like the NEA, EPA, FCC et al., have acquired way to much unfettered power and influence for nonelected agencies. However, I do believe the government has a definite role in things like the military, aviation, highway development and water management. Whether or not you believe the Keystone Pipeline is something we should move forward with, there is one pipeline or system that needs to be discussed . . . That would be a system of pipelines, plumbing the nation. There are options though . . . We could stop growing fruits and vegetables. We could export Californians to the East and Northwest and stop all building and growth in the West. We could just grow fruits and vegetables for ourselves out here. Unrealistic . . . Unfair . . . Not going to happen? Of course, those things are not going to happen. But for a nation looking to bolster employment . . . For a nation that is still the leader in technology and innovation . . . For a nation that is growing and yet can't seem to open the borders fast enough, especially in the arid states, managing water distribution should be as high a priority as there is. Building a system for water distribution, especially to the food producing areas, is not only doable, but necessary. Who's going to argue that a pipeline spill of fresh water is going to ruin the environment? This isn't rocket science. Some states provide food; some states provide water. Unfortunately the states that provide food don't generate a lot of water. If we don't realize this one simple fact, there will come a time when those two commodities will have to be traded. Let's not wait until we absolutely have to before we begin . . . God Bless . . . Spring is in the air . . . George Schmok, Publisher

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